(Newburyport MA) Shutouts are not unusual for either team.
North Reading entered today’s game with nine shutouts while Newburyport hit the turf field with eleven.
Therefore, the 0-0 final score between two of the Cape Ann League’s best girls’ soccer teams was no real surprise on this warm Monday afternoon.
However, the outcome was important to both teams. Why? In North Reading’s last game (Thursday) they had lost 2-0 to Masconomet. That was the second loss to the Chieftains this season. There was a need to tighten up the defense which, led by Kirsten Bradley and Kat Hassapis, was accomplished versus Newburyport.
For Newburyport this game put to rest the memory of a disturbing 3-0 loss the Clippers suffered on September 13th at North Reading. I did not see that game but over the twelve games since then Newburyport has only allowed one goal. That’s what you call tightening up your defense!
Newburyport (10-1-3) needed that solid defense today as North Reading (10-3-1) had the better of the scoring chances in my opinion.
NR’s Meredith Griffin came the closest to scoring as her shot at 14:50 of the first half caromed off the crossbar. Here is the sequence of that action involving Meredith (green), Cricket Good (4), Krysta Padellaro, and goalie Jen Stuart:
In the second half (15:10), Haley Nathan had Clippers GK Jen Stuart defending her on the left but Haley passed instead of shooting. Haley’s pass across the goal put Jen out of position and had “open net” written all over it. Fortunately, for Newburyport there were no Hornets breaking in from the right and the ball rolled harmlessly across the endline. This is what that sequence looked like. Haley Nathan is #11:
The Clippers held their own on the defensive end and in midfield. They frequently put two or three passes together. However, the Hornets did not allow open looks. Kirsten Bradley was especially good at getting the ball away from Newburyport attackers. On the rare occasions that the ball got closer, there was the 2015 Cape Ann League Player-of-the-Year (Kat Hassapis) in net for North Reading.
Impressed with the play of Newburyport’s Krysta Padellaro and Margaret Cote. Both of them displayed the fearlessness that had them winning more than a few 50-50 balls.
Newburyport goalie Jen Stuart is unscored on in nine straight games. Next game for the Clippers is hosting Triton Wednesday (6:30PM).
Next for North Reading is hosting Pentucket on Wednesday at 4:30PM.
The weather was amazing. Temperatures in the 70’s this late in October?
The last time I saw North Reading girls’ soccer was last November at Fraser Field in Lynn when they defeated Bishop Fenwick 2-1 to take the D3 North. I got a pretty good shot of Haley Nathan driving home the game-winner.
Unusual call (to me) in this game was against North Reading for having too many players on the field. I also saw an NR player sent to the sidelines by a referee for unsportsmanlike conduct.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)